Below is today's "daily report" from Tom Panfil who is one of three SIGAda
volunteers working our Ada booth at the AFCEA GovTechNet'99 show in DC this
week. Some interesting reading; no surprise about needing to continue
Ada-in-education efforts. It sounds like Tom has an opportunity to
influence what could become an important friend(s) of Ada. Perhaps Tucker
and the ARA should spring into action to work with Tom... -Hal
>From: "Thomas \"Tom\" Panfil" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>, "SIGAda'99 Conf. Comm." <[log in to unmask]>
>Cc: "'Ann S. Brandon'" <[log in to unmask]>, "Hal Hart" <[log in to unmask]>,
> "Panfil, Thomas A. -- IEEE" <[log in to unmask]>,
> "'Morrison, JC -- Ada-Solutions'" <[log in to unmask]>,
> "Panfil, Thomas A." <[log in to unmask]>,
> "SIGAda Officers" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: SIGAda Booth Status @ GovTechNet'99 -- 2400 hrs -- Wednesday --
>16 JUN 99 -- HELP!!
>Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 00:03:03 -0400
>X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3
>Things went well at the booth again today. Traffic picked
>up a bit. Met some ladies with Ada experiences: one had been
>Chair of a WAdaS & one had the inside story on the IBM/FAA
>decision to attribute the unacceptable performance of the FAA
>Ada program which I guess was killed in 1991, on Ada not being
>suitable for real-time operations. She had a lot of
>Consensus of the Army & AF Colonels, and an upper ranking Navy
>civilian, was that Ada needs to become a common language in
>undergrad CS and software engineering curricula, for it to
>survive. They can find an abundance of C++ programmers, but
>few incoming Ada programmers, and they want to minimize their
>training requirements. They can probably get what they want
>in terms of minimization of their budgets too.
>Good interest from Canadians in Ada/Java technology. Canadian
>military supposed to be moving many projects to Java.
>More interest in Ireland & in TOOLS'99.
>Perhaps the most important contact was with a Ph.D (I don't
>want to publish his name), Senior Member Technical Staff,
>Information and Computing Technologies Research Section,
>of a major high visibility laboratory, that does important
>high visibility work. He found us on his way to the luncheon,
>and talked with us for about 7 minutes before excusing himself
>-- he said he'd come back. Later we learned that he had been
>the "TBA" speaker at lunch. We talked about another 12 minutes
>when he returned. He needs information, and left some questions
>with us. I promised to get back in touch by e-mail with the
>best answers I could find. HELP!!
> a) What are the QUANTITATIVE advantages of Ada compared to C++,
>Java, and maybe LISP, with respect to reliability, productivity,
>defect rates in code/source text ( -- In response to my questions,
>it appears that he's interested in rates: before compilation is
>attempted / after compilation is apparently successful / after
>apparently successful integration and testing); and other
>factors important to choice of language? Tall order indeed.
> b) How does one check to know that a program is correct, and
>how does Ada help one to check that a program is correct? I.e.
>does it use pre and post conditions like Eiffel? I was able to
>answer "not as part of the language, but one could specifically
>code such tests."
>Since he is interested in very highly reliable software, JC
>suggested that he may want to consider using SPARK. I promised
>to provide a URL for more info on SPARK. I have John's book,
>and have the URL at work.
>I've seen many good ideas and arguments on the TEAM-Ada mail list
>over the last two years, but I hope that we can provide some
>consolidated answers to at least some of his questions. One thing
>I could site as background is the paper from the gentleman at IDA
>comparing C, C++, Java, and Ada(95 I think) to the requirements
>of Steelman. I hope that others can contribute some quantified
>data. Published papers and complete reports would seem best.
>I'll get to the show to help pack the booth tomorrow, and we'll
>try to put in a complaint about being shadowed so badly by the big
>neighbor across the 6' walkway.
>That's all for now.
>Tom Panfil -- Treasurer -- Baltimore SIGAda
>PS. I worked 1015-1100, 1330-1430, 1530-1630. JC worked 1300-1630.
>Ann opened and worked till JC took over, then again later.
>JC & I attended the Exhibitor's Party at the Hyatt. It was quite